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Apartment Fire Displaces Families

Fire on balcony leaves several west Ashley Residents temporarily without a home


February 9, 2017
From Staff Reports

At approximately 9:56 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 3 the Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch Center received notification of a structure fire at the Palmilla Apartments on Ashley River Road. Emergency responders with Charleston and Saint Andrews Fire Departments, Charleston County EMS, and Charleston Police Department were dispatched to the scene and arrived in less than four minutes. The initial arriving firefighters reported flames spreading from the structure into the attic space of the two story apartment building.

Firefighters from both agencies rapidly coordinated interior and exterior fire attack and search efforts. Crews quickly searched the building and determined the residents had self-evacuated. The fire involved the exterior of the structure and had spread into the attic space. Firefighters quickly extinguished the exterior fire and controlled the attic fire, containing the roof damage to one half of the building, impacting four of the eight apartments.

Investigators from the Fire Marshal Division Fire Investigation Team responded to the scene and determined the fire originated on a second floor exterior balcony. The exterior fire entered the soffit area and spread through the attic space over half of the building; firefighters controlled the attic fire before it proceeded past the fire wall protecting the second half of the building. Smoke alarms were present but did not immediately sound as the fire originated outside of the apartments. The specific cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.

A total of four apartment units, housing five adults and one child, were damaged. The four apartments on the unaffected side of the fire wall were not impacted. The Red Cross responded and worked with property management to provide assistance to the displaced residents. No injuries were reported as a result of this incident.

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